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Does My Entire HVAC System Have To Be Upgraded If It Uses R-22 Refrigerant?

r22 refrigerant replacementRecurring issues with aging air conditioners make certain questions inevitable. Is it still prudent to repair the unit? Is it time to look for a replacement? Both have their pros and cons. Repairs are easier on the wallet, faster to complete, and a lot more sensible for new units. The opposite is true when it comes to older units. An air conditioner replacement may be the smart option because recurring repairs get increasingly costly. This is definitely true if the system is dependent on the R22 refrigerant.

With the US government declaring R22 illegal to make or import by next year, the supply will eventually dwindle until nothing is left. Units that can’t get a recharge will cease to function. Given this inevitability, wouldn’t it be better to switch now instead of waiting for conditions to get worse?

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The Reasons behind the R22 Exit & The Need For A R22 Replacement

R-22 used to be the HVAC industry’s standard refrigerant. It was present on all cooling units made until the mid-90s because of its effectiveness. However, it contains substances called HCFCs that were found to be harmful to the environment. They played a significant role in the damage discovered on the ozone layer, a protective shield that reduced the potency of ultraviolet radiation. If things persisted, the ozone layer would be wiped out. Humans will develop a long list of problems due to the unfiltered UV rays. The crisis was averted thanks to the efforts of both the public and the private sectors. Non-HCFC refrigerants were developed as an alternative to R22.

How New Jersey Homeowners Will Be Affected By The R22 Ban

air conditioner technicianThose who have an R22-based cooling system will not be able to buy the refrigerant by 2020. If there is a refrigerant leak inside the unit, then a recharge will not be possible. The effects of the impending ban are already being felt today. Owners who are getting a recharge for their units this year are facing exorbitant r22 refrigerant prices because of the scarcity of the product. Despite the cost, people are opening their wallets knowing that it may be their last chance to repair their system.

Another thing to consider is the slow but inevitable decline in efficiency for old air conditioners. Running inefficiently means using up more energy to produce the same cooling effect. The increased consumption will reflect on the monthly bills. The air conditioner may also have trouble cooling the space after a while.

From a financial standpoint, the cost of R22 will continue to soar while the supply goes down and the demand goes up. People who are not keen on replacing their old systems should at least act quickly to get a recharge today while it is available. Manufacturers are already cutting down their production in anticipation of the ban. They have chosen to focus on alternative refrigerants that still enjoy wide acceptance. Homeowners who would like to move on to a newer high-efficiency model can get perks in the form of tax breaks and rebates. Be sure to talk to the HVAC experts at Lawes Company to find out more information.

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Refrigerant Options Beyond R-22

As soon as the damaging effects of R22 became known, it was apparent that the industry will have to work to create safer alternatives. R-410A is one of the products of the intensive research and development that followed. R-410a was the brainchild of Honeywell in the early 90s. The formula has since been licensed to other companies to ramp up production. R410A is better for the ozone layer and is widely available at HVAC companies around the country. People should also be aware of R-421A which is considered as the next step in the refrigerant evolution.

A Comparison Of Air Conditioner Retrofitting And Full A/C Upgrades

air conditioner replacementTax breaks are always welcome, but the upgrade cost will still be high even after they are applied. As such, people are trying out other solutions like air conditioner retrofitting. This method makes it possible to keep the old system while changing out the refrigerant. It is a sensible fix, considering the nature of the problem. If the refrigerant is obsolete, then save the unit itself by switching to a newer compound. However, the problem is that implementation can be tricky.

The ideal working conditions for R22 and R410A are different. The former can thrive at lower pressures while the latter requires high pressures. Since old air conditioning units were designed with R22 in mind, they are not able to keep up with the pressure that these newer refrigerants require. The stress on the system causes refrigerant leaks and becomes a recurring headache.

Only a full upgrade can ensure proper compatibility with a new refrigerant. There will be no concerns about pressure-induced leaks or other problems for about a decade or more. This solution is a financially viable option if you think long-term, especially when you compare it to retrofitting and drowning in costly HVAC repair costs for years. New AC models are also known for their high efficiency. Couple this with the tax breaks and the purchase price will look a lot more manageable.

Matching Heating And Cooling Replacements In New Jersey

If you are planning to replace your air conditioner, then think about doing the same if you have an old heater as well. A complete HVAC replacement would be a logical course of action for those who installed their HVAC system in one go. You will be able to save a significant amount of money by doing it this way.

What’s more, trying to operate two different generations of HVAC equipment may lead to mismatched components and other complications. Warranty issues may come up because of system incompatibilities. If you want trouble-free operations, then do what you must. Be sure to talk to the heating and cooling professionals at Lawes Company to find out more information.

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Conclusion

Lawes Company is a highly respected HVAC services provider that can assist home and business owners with their heating and cooling issues. If you need repairs, maintenance work, or system installation, then we are the one to call. Our reasonable rates and friendly HVAC technicians will make every visit a pleasant experience.

Learn more about what we can do for you by calling us today. We provide free consultations at your preferred schedule. Tell us about your concerns and your questions. We will answer them to the best of our abilities and your satisfaction. Act now so you can get the help that you need. Our representatives are standing by so call us today!

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